On Rent

My awesome colleague Jacob Shwartz-Lucas mused, in his recent WorkandWealth piece, on Rent — which, he notes, “has a very nuanced meaning in Economics.” Though Jacob said “meaning,” he talked about definition — which is understandable. He was making an economic point — and academic economics has done its best to make sure normal readers won’t get a handle on… Continue reading On Rent

In Emergency, Break Glass

Too much of the talk about today’s JOBS issue has been theoretical. Here’s a real-world proposal. We need to put people to work, NOW! What’s more, it would be nice, if these newly-created jobs didn’t create too much environmental harm. My modest proposal involves two basic materials, both of which are abundant, renewable and recyclable.… Continue reading In Emergency, Break Glass

The Bridge to Economic Nowhere

President-elect Obama’s plan for a massive national public works project will fail to revive the economy. Such works did not end the Great Depression, and they did not revive the Japanese economy during the stagnant 1990s. Most such projects also take time to plan and implement, so they will not provide quick relief. The way… Continue reading The Bridge to Economic Nowhere